Saturday, April 5, 2008

Mike Stock, the music writer, composer, producer.

Stoney from Hit Factory Forum wrote this wonderful article about the record producer Mike Stock:

Mike Stock was born in Margate in 1951. He began writing songs at the age of seven and taught himself to play guitar and piano, signing a publishing contract whilst still a teenager.

After two years at university studying drama and theology, Mike left to pursue a career in the music industry. He played up and down the country in his own band, singing and playing in a succession of gigs, television and radio broadcasts. During this period Mike earned sufficient income to enable him to build his own studio in which he was to produce and write original material and form his own record label.

Teaming up with Matt Aitken in 1982 and subsequently with Pete Waterman in 1984, Mike Stock is a founder member and songwriter, musician and producer of the Stock Aitken Waterman team which was so successful in the popular music world in the 1980s and 1990s. The Guinness Book of Records recognises him as the most successful songwriter and record producer in British Chart history. (Guinness Book of Records) Mike Stock realised a unique achievement by having one of his records or songs in the UK chart in an unbroken run which lasted three and a half years between 1987 and 1991. This is a feat unlikely to be repeated. (Music Week)

On three occasions in the UK one of Mike's records was knocked off No. 1 by another of his own records:

1987 "RESPECTABLE" performed by Mel and Kim spent one week at No. 1 to be knocked off by "LET IT BE" Ferry Aid which spent three weeks at No. 1.

1989 "HAND ON YOUR HEART" performed by Kylie Minogue spent one week at the top to be knocked off by "FERRY 'CROSS THE MERSEY" Mersey Aid which spent three weeks at No. 1 which, in turn, was knocked off by "SEALED WITH A KISS" performed by Jason Donovan which stayed at No. 1 for two weeks.

He has been honoured to receive the Ivor Novello Songwriter of the Year award a record three consecutive times and a further 5 ‘Ivors' for various songs, as well as many Producer awards from around the world. He has succeeded with over 300 hit records, including 16 number ones with a record 11 different artists in the UK alone. (Guinness Book of Hit Singles) Overseas success has been on a par, with many more number ones in the rest of the world. For example "Never Gonna Give You Up" performed by Rick Astley was No 1 in 25 different countries. Mike has been presented with awards for songwriting and producing in many territories. Some records fared better abroad than in the UK, such as "Venus" by Bananarama which reached number one in America, and three versions of "Turn It Into Love" were in the Japanese charts at the same time, each performed by a different artist. Mike wrote and produced 20 straight hits for Kylie Minogue through the eighties and nineties. (BPI/PWL/EMI) Mike produced records for Robson and Jerome for BMG Records in the mid to late nineties; "UNCHAINED MELODY"/"WHITE CLIFFS OF DOVER" is the best-selling (non-charity) record of the 1990's. (BPI/BMG) Mike's hit tally on a worldwide basis numbers in the 1,000s.

In the mid-1990's Mike developed his own record label activities, achieving worldwide hit records including several number 1's, notching up an impressive market share of business in the first months of operation. In the first 14 months of business, the label achieved 13 UK hit singles with much associated worldwide success. Nicki French had a number 1 worldwide hit with "Total Eclipse Of The Heart". Mike's label, Love This Records, was forced to close in 1997. London Underground had tunneled the new Jubilee Line Extension close to his building, and the integrity of his studio facility was compromised. But that's another story...

In 1999 Mike teamed up with Steve Crosby, who had master-minded Steps a few years before, and they formed the band Scooch who signed to EMI Parlophone. Scooch scored four consecutive hit singles before splitting up, including the top 5 record "More Than I Needed To Know". Later, Scooch were the UK Eurovision Song Contest representatives for 2007.

In 2003 Mike formed a new record label, Better The Devil Records with partners Bob Patmore and Dave Sullivan. The first single released, "Fast Food Song", was the biggest selling CD single of the day, generating and stimulating the debate on childhood obesity.

In 2004 Mike published his first book "The Hit Factory" which recorded his early years and the history of Stock Aitken Waterman and more. Mike felt it was necessary to set the record straight. He is writing another book which deals with some of the more controversial areas which were omitted from his first publication.

Shortly after re-forming SAW, Mike and Pete signed the famous "Sheilas Wheels" to a joint venture with EMI, followed swiftly by a hectic promotional campaign to promote SAW Gold, a Greatest Hits package. And in association with Kylie Minogue, Mike helped promote her highly successful "Ultimate Kylie" Greatest Hits package released with EMI in 2006.

The winner of 2007's "X Factor" Leon Jackson, sang a composition of Mike's "Better The Devil You Know" on the final show before the public cast its vote. On 2007/2008 New Year's Eve Jools Holland show "Hootenanny", Sir Paul McCartney duetted with Kylie Minogue who sang a version of "I Should Be So Lucky".

Songs and lyrics of his continue to feature in award-winning films, stage theatrical presentations, TV and radio. It is estimated that one of his songs is played on a radio station somewhere in the world every minute of every day 365 days a year. One of his songs has been broadcast more than 3 million times in America alone; this equates to playing the song continuously for over 17 years. (BMI)

One of the stars of the fantastically successful American project "High School Musical" is currently in negotiation with Mike to sing one of his songs. Mike's plans for 2008 include the opening of his new recording facility in early Spring and he is in ongoing discussions with theatrical producers about the staging of a musical. A full-scale audition process is due to be launched to recruit members of a new band project scheduled for release in the Summer.

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